From The Sinking Ship to The Ark of Jesus Christ
On March 10, 1748, John Newton was born again. He was the writer of the awesome hymn, "Amazing Grace", and his conversion was very dramatic.
His Conversion experience as listed in Wikipedia:
Newton awoke in the middle of the night and finally called out to God as the ship filled with water. After he called out, the cargo came out and stopped up the hole, and the ship was able to drift to safety. It was this experience which he later marked as the beginnings of his conversion to evangelical Christianity. As the ship sailed home, Newton began to read the Bible and other religious literature. By the time he reached Britain, he had accepted the doctrines of evangelical Christianity. The date was March 10, 1748, an anniversary he marked for the rest of his life. From that point on, he avoided profanity, gambling, and drinking. Although he continued to work in the slave trade, he had gained a considerable amount of sympathy for the slaves. He later said that his true conversion did not happen until some time later: "I cannot consider myself to have been a believer in the full sense of the word, until a considerable time afterwards.
John Newton found himself as a British Captain of a slave ship that was about to sink. This situation caused Newton to call out to almighty God, and obviously God answered and Newton was showered with the amazing grace of God.
Later, Newton became an Anglican minister, and he wrote the glorious hymn, "Amazing Grace" around 1779. This song epitomizes God's amazing grace to all those who turn to Him in the storms of life.
Storms on the sea are very fascinating because there is no way out; without God's intervention. A ship is a flimsy object on the sea of life, and it is very vulnerable to any external influence.
As fragile human beings; we are all floating in the sea of life in our own very insecure boats of our flesh and our breath. Our very lives are described in The Bible as a "vapor".
In short, we should realize that our very existence is dependent on the grace of God and His protection. However, we often do not think of this fact until we are in the midst of a dire need, as with John Newton.
As long as we are floating along in the sunshine of life, and the storm clouds are far away in the distance; we seem to think that "we" are the captains of our own fate and our own ship.
However, when the storms of life hit us; we soon learn that almighty God is the actual captain and master of our destiny. John Newton learned this truth when his own ship filled up with water. We cannot allow our lives to be filled with the waters from the world which will cause us to sink.
When Newton called out to God; God was so very gracious and caused the water to be stopped so that the ship and the people on the ship could be saved. Most of our salivations and deliverance s are not as dramatic as with John Newton, but they are the same in the fact that only God can bring us out of our sinking boats or unsafe life situations.
John Newton became a minister of God, and he went from being a slave ship captain to being an advocate for the abolition of slavery. John Newton truly understood the grace and power of Jesus Christ.
Not many of God's people have been on a real sinking ship in the vast ocean, but all of us have been in sinking ships in the oceans of our lives before we met our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Now, we have found a haven, a refuge and The Ark that will keep us afloat until the end of our voyage.
The Bible says that it is the person that endures to the end that will be saved. Being saved is a process, and not a one time event.
The day of the conversion of John Newton was just the very beginning of his great journey with almighty God. As Newton studied The Bible, prayed and learned how to praise God; He grew in The Lord, His love, His faith and His grace.
All of us are on the ship of life that could be filled with water from the world at any time and in any storm. However, when we make The Lord God our trust, our refuge and our everything; we can enter into His ark where we will be safe from all harm, evil and temptations.
We are told that in the last days; it will be similar to the days of Noak and his ark. That is true today. Only Noah and his family were saved from the flood out of all of the other people.
They were not perfect, but Noah trusted in the living God, and he and his family were saved and delivered. We also will be saved from all storms, floods and disasters as we put our total trust in God.
Let's not wait to the last minute to get on His ark of safety. Let's get on His ark today, and find a wonderful place of God's love, joy, peace and the greatest thing of all His amazing grace.
Peggy Kannaday, B.A., M.Ed., has been the Managing Editor for "Church Growth International" which is The English Outreach of The Yoido Full Gospel Church which has an 800,000 membership and is headquartered in Seoul, Korea.
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